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back to article Western Digital leaps out of a plane, forgets to pull the 'chute

Western Digital's latest quarterly financial results signal a retreat in revenue and profits. Recession helped reduce both figures and the floor is not yet in sight. For its second quarter of fiscal 2013, which ended 28 December 2012, revenues were $3.8bn, an impressive 89 per cent increase on the year-ago quarter. Net income …

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Anonymous Coward

That chart on profits

Up and down maybe, but if you factor in the rampant opportunism and profiteering arising from the Thailand flooding and strip that out, looks like a longish trend decline over three years.

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Re: That chart on profits

I can't convince myself there's any trend to be seen. A better breakdown might help.

How does it break down for smallest-size disks (<500Gb these days moving to 1Tb soon) versus the big ones? How would it look for server-grade versus desktop-grade?

My guess is that sales of smallest desktop-grade disks are in terminal decline, because of the advance of solid-state storage (and probably, the PC market changing from an expanding one to a saturated one). Smallest desktop drives were doubtless the volume product, though also almost certainly the least profitable.

Server-grade should be less affected, and multi-Tb drives should be safe for the forseeable future. Question for these, is just how many Tb does the world want to store?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That chart on profits

"I can't convince myself there's any trend to be seen. "

If I might offer some advice, then: Don't take an analytical job.

If you want to check, then read the figures off the chart for Q1 2010 to Q2 2012, stick em into Excel, graph them and get it to give you a line of best fit. The point about the flooding is that the margins mysteriously leapt in Q3 of financial year 2012, and turnover ramped up despite the shortage of volume. That's because they sealed deals at higher prices with all major disk buyers who were desperate to avoid supply chain disruption. Since then you see the prices (reflected in turnover) and margin both trending back down to where they were, probably including the preceding trend.

Like the PC market, news of the death of the hard disk market has been greatly exaggerated, but in both cases they are losing momentum, and in a decade's time the hard disk will be something the kids ask you about. A bit like 5.25 floppies, if you're sufficiently old.

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Trollface

About those prices...

Remember how nice it was to buy storage before the great flood of 2012? Those were the days.

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Wait, you mean when you take advantage of a natural disaster to spike your prices indefinitely, that you will eventually start to lose customers?

And when you buy your competitor in order to spike their prices too, you just piss people off?

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Anonymous Coward

Not to mention

WD drives are shite... (admittedly not much worse than most of the rest of the market but...)

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Hybrid drives * facepalm*

Frankly, I do not understand the allure of hybrid drives. They are kind of the worst of both worlds.

If I had an enemy, I'd probably ensure their new systems ran on them, with some firmware tweaks to put the most unused files on the flash part, and the OS on the disk itself. Oh wait, many of these drives appear not to need this tweak.

Long term, it's more intelligent to just put two drives into a laptop. One flash, one HD. They can be upgraded separately, and are potentially more stable than the kludge that is a hybrid drive.

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Re: Hybrid drives * facepalm*

Put two drives WHERE in most laptops?!?!? Even my Sony Viao 17" lappie only has a space for one - and it is a 750G hybrid. And it rocks, so I have no idea what you are on about. You just need to consider it as a huge expansion of the disk buffer...nothing wrong with that. And it both benchmarks faster and IS faster than a standard drive, trust me.

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Anonymous Coward

Customers

Customers tend to remember when you price gouge the shit out of 'em.

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wd hq:

wd hq:

boss - we need another price gouging hoax to increase $$profit$$

pr drone - some toilets got flooded in thailand

boss - CALL THE PRESS!! RAISE THE PRICES NAO

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WD did it to themselves..

The flood ended a long time ago. There is plenty of latent capacity and drives in the channel.

SO WHY THE (#*%(#) ARE YOU STILL RIPPING US OFF?!?!?

I have a space saved for 4 3Tb Red drives, and I will NOT be buying them until I don't feel ripped off...if that doesn't happen soon, I will be looking to even Seagate or Samsung...

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Flame

Re: WD did it to themselves..

"SO WHY THE (#*%(#) ARE YOU STILL RIPPING US OFF?!?!?"

Get a life. Supply was restricted, somebody had to go without, the market rations on price. Dell, HP, Acer all piled in and bought what inventory and capacity was available at top dollar, because it was more important to keep their lines running than to whine "it's not fair". And that included bidding for forward capacity, which is why the prices have not yet fully returned to where they were (although not far off on the prices I can buy for).

So instead of carping about WD, you'd be better off complaining about the big PC OEM's and the data centre operators who bid the prices up.

You might also want to think that you're pretty lucky, in that the net impact on you is that you've had to defer buying a handful of hard disks, to which I say "boo fucking hoo". About a thousand people died, Thailand's economy took a $50bn hit, and 14 million people were affected by the flooding of their homes or workplaces. I'd suggest that they've had it worse than you.

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WD TV Live Hub

The have a nifty product in the WD TV Live Hub media device, a built in 1Tb drive, plays just about anything including (for my purposes) Flac encoded audio but they then chose to install a small mobile phone cpu in it and it runs like a hobbled drunk slug. Any competent manufacturer would have spotted that it sells quite well and improved the hardware by now. I'd buy another one if they made it faster!

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